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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: Thoughts on a data-driven web site
Date Thu, 22 Jun 2000 19:16:34 GMT
Jonathan Stimmel wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 22, 2000 at 01:28:54AM +0200, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> > > In my mind, there are two basic applications for cocoon. In one case,
> > > cocoon needs to format a page based on a single content source. For
> > > instance, you might have a news directory filled with xml documents,
> > > and you want cocoon to display them with a few navigation links. In the
> > > other (the case I am pursuing in depth), you have a variety of content
> > > sources which must be integrated into a page.
> >
> > why? is there a place where Cocoon limits you action for content
> > generation?
> I'm not sure I understand your question...

I mean: does XSP limit your ability to incorporate different content
sources into your page?
> > > I do want to give the presentation designers the ability
> > > to choose which content sources are used in a given page, but I do
> > > *not* want to give our web designers the opportunity to write Java
> > > code.
> >
> > Well, don't allow them to do it :-)
> Agreed, however this organisation has problems setting requirements
> and then following them. Enforcing good practices in the sites
> infrastructure will help enforce organisational processes.

> > Give them a simple layout schema
> >
> >  <page>
> >   <banner .../>
> >   <content .../>
> >   <sidebar .../>
> >   ...
> >  </page>
> >
> > and use an XSLT stylesheet to transform the above with XSLT into XSP
> > with taglibs.
> If I understand XSP taglibs correctly (in cocoon1 at least), you create
> an XSLT stylesheet to "inject" code into the resulting XSP page? So
> the net result is a giant XSP page (assuming lots of taglibs). If this
> is accurate, then I don't like it because:
>  - adding a new taglib forces recompilation of any XSP pages which
>    use the new tag

c'mon, where's the problem for this?
>  - it allows independent coding efforts to interact with unintentional
>    effects (I noticed that the util taglib creates a new code block
>    when it needs a variable; what would happen if this was omitted?)

>  - it's a more complex pipeline to explain to others

All right, I take this.
>  - last I knew, XSP was still built around DOM (haven't checked
>    the recent update)

XSP are compiled to SAX generators in Cocoon2.
> > Note how this doesn't slow runtime performance since this happens
> > _before_ the page is compiled.
> I'm more concerned with separation of roles and responsibilities
> than with performance (except that I will not use DOM-based

Ok, still, I can't see your points.
> > Well, if your employees are that nasty, you can always "adapt" them to
> > the XSP engine and filter out everything that you don't like... please
> > not the XSLT filter for this is _sooo___ easy to write
> It's easy to write, but also easy to remove.

remove? absolutely not. This is why Cocoon2 removed PIs and created a
sitemap. If you want to lock out your XSP page writers, just don't give
them access to the sitemap and you're done.

> Too often, some VP
> will say to an engineer, "we just made a deal, and have committed
> to implementing this complex new feature by next week" (slightly
> exaggerated).  By making it easy to hack the infrastructure to do
> a quick hack, the VP will be encouraged to do so again, leading
> to another hack, until the site ends up being a giant collection
> of hacks (which we already have :{).

Cocoon1 doesn't help, I totally agree. But here we talk about C2 and the
sitemap gives you the control tool you needed to ensure your lazy
engineers do their job the "elegant" and designed way.... or go thru
loops to make the sitemap change.

> Besides, it lacks elegance =)

It does? I think correct use of pipelines is nothing but inelegant...
but this is just my personal opinion of course.
> > What's wrong with XSLT extentions?
> I don't know, I'll have to look into them.


Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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